About Erol Onel

ErolOnel1Experienced Pharmaceutical Executive Erol Onel 

An award-winning physician and pharmaceutical executive with extensive experience in clinical research and instruction, Dr. Erol Onel is the chief medical officer of Cali Biosciences in San Diego, California. Focused on perioperative drugs, the company’s product pipeline includes drugs in the fields of anesthesia, analgesia and anti-inflammation. 

Previously, Dr. Onel served as vice president of clinical research at Heron Therapeutics. He worked in this capacity from 2016 to 2020, during which time he spearheaded efforts to receive FDA and European Medicines Agency approval for a non-opioid treatment of postsurgical pain. He also designed drug launch strategies, training materials, study protocols, and development plans. 

Erol Onel also served seven years in a similar role at Pacira Pharmaceuticals, where he oversaw seven direct reports and created platforms to make opioid reduction strategies and algorithms more accessible to patients through improved health outcome strategies and recovery protocols. In addition, Dr. Onel held executive roles at Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, the latter of which is a global biopharmaceutical company with more than $23 billion in revenue. 

As an executive, Erol Onel is particularly versed in corporate governance, business transformation, risk management, and mergers and acquisitions. He has successfully led multiple business turnarounds, one of which he achieved by implementing trainings in knee injections for primary care practitioners in order to free up orthopedic surgeons for other procedures. This initiative resulted in a threefold increase in revenue within one year. Dr. Onel has also led development efforts for four new drug approvals in the U.S. and Europe that, combined, have benefitted more than 10 million patients worldwide. 

In addition, Dr. Onel is experienced in clinical instruction and teaching. He was an assistant professor of urology at Andover Urology and Tufts University/New England Medical Center. He led the resident teaching program and won several awards, including Outstanding Clinical Instructor in Surgical Sub-Specialty, during his four-year tenure at Tufts.  

Dr. Onel is a member of the American Urological Association and American Society for Reproductive Medicine, among other professional organizations. He earned his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and graduated cum laude with a B.A. in biology from Williams College. 


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